It’s hard to believe that it’s March and show time already—the months do tumble by. For openers, there are the Fred Hall Fishing Shows held at both Long Beach Convention Center on March 7-11, 2018 and at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, March 22-25, 2018.
In addition to a marvelous opportunity to restock your tackle box at bargain prices, both shows have a large contingent of Baja folks, from guides and destinations to government officials, who are eager to share their local knowledge and answer any question you might have.
While the weather will remain an issue through March from the border along the coast all the way to San Quintín, bottom fishing rules and is the most consistent and productive choice. Pinnacles in depths of anywhere from 100- to 400-feet are producing limit or near-limits of big quality reds, some nice chuckleheads, bank perch, bocaccio, plus a few big lingcod. The best bet to catch them is to use a dropper loop rig with a single 4-foot long leader, a 6/0-size hook using a live mackerel or yoyo iron. There are also just enough yellowtail mixed in to keep you on your toes.
Surface action is sporadic with a few good days yielding bonito, barracuda, and smaller yellowtail.
Offshore the bluefin noise continues, confirmed by yachts traveling up and down the coast that have been reporting sightings of bluefin from Cedros to the Mexican border.
These reports were underscored recently by Captain Brian Kiyohara aboard the long-range, American Angler, who was on a straight-line course for San Diego above Cedros where he reportedly observed over 30-plus miles of bluefin jumpers and small schools on their sonar.
With similar sea-temps all the way up to southern California, the below the border season could be short-lived. As Jason Hayashi, fishdope.com, observed recently, “the bluefin go all the way up to the east end of Catalina, (as this photo taken last week off the East End reflects), and they were at the 43-Spot several weeks ago.”
By all accounts the whale watching that is winding down now has been epic this season from below the border to Baja’s tip, up into the Sea of Cortez all the way to Loreto.
Speaking of Loreto, the astonishing tuna bite of last month faltered as seasonal north winds returned. However, the larger mossback yellowtail showed up in their place; Mossback yellows hang around structure. Locals commented that although conditions were not right for the monster yellowfin to bite, they were still seeing them on the meter at El Seco.
At Magdalena Bay, whale watching has dominated fleets at both Puerto San Carlos and Lopez Mateos, but it is beginning to taper off. And while offshore is unpredictable the mangrove action is heating up for light buy ambien with mastercard tackle anglers for dog-tooth snapper, white corvina, pargo mulatto, yellow snapper, and numerous snook.
Both La Paz and East Cape have recently been suffering the North Wind “blews” after experiencing phenomenal fishing mid-February. Near the south end of Isla Cerralvo, yellowfin tuna were thick and close, not too far out for the local panga fleet to run to. Throw in a few cabrilla, snapper, jack crevalle, bonito, and sierra, as well as some pargo and a few bonus dorado that were schooling around in the shallow waters.
Recent reports from East Cape featured snapper caught from shore and leaping humpback whales were seen close to shore. There was also a promise of the return of the good striper and dorado fishing, as well as the few wahoo catches that had been the norm before the blow.
At Puerto Los Cabos it seems as if this is where the yellowfin tuna are hanging out, from football to cow-class, for persistent anglers. There was also a smattering of wahoo and dorado… always a prized catch.
At Cabo San Lucas the catches were wild and weird. In the former department was this pointy-nosed blue chimaera, a species of “ghost shark” — only the second one caught in the Pisces Fleet’s history.
Once again, this month the dorado remain in the counts, a welcome addition after the last few years’ absence.
And last but certainly not least, this nice-sized grouper was caught near one of the pinnacles offshore in front of the Cabo Falso Lighthouse.
One more item: The Stephen Jansen Sierra Tournament, a local favorite and one that is only held when it’s a good sierra season, will be held this year on March 11 at Migrino Beach on the Pacific side. I believe this is the largest beach tournament held in Baja. If you would like to sign up for the Sierra Tournament call +52-1-624-122-4503 or visit www.jansen.mx
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With more than five decades of fishing experience – from light tackle and fly to offshore billfish – Gary Graham has experienced all aspects of fishing in the Southern California and Baja waters. His observations of species behavior, tackle and techniques are always from his unique perspective, earning him the respect of his peers as well as anglers who eagerly follow his Baja reports and features.
Gary maintained a home at East Cape in Baja Sur for more than 18 years and still spends nearly half of each year exploring the entire peninsula in his self-contained Roadtrek van. He observes everything Baja, from the mysteries of a tide pool on a deserted Baja beach filled with tiny sea creatures to the largest billfish in the sea.